The next few guides will show you how to get your software upgraded from our previous 3.x version of the software.
If you are upgrading from a version of IPS products prior to version 3.0, you will first need to upgrade to 3.4
The first thing you will need to do, is to log into your client area. In order to do this, visit the main invision website in your web browser.
Once you are here. You will need to log into the client area. You can do this by first signing into the site
Once logged in, you will see the client area link in the top left. Selecting this will take you to the client area, which is you area for downloading your software, accessing your tickets, account information and more.
So now we are in the client area, we need to find our license so we can download the software for that license. First click on "Manage Purchases" from the menu at the top.
You will now see a list of any licenses that you own for the software. You need to select the license in which you wish to download the product for.
You should now be able to see the large "Download IPS Community Suite" button. Selecting this will then give you your options for download.
If you are upgrading from IP.Board 3 to IPS Community Suite 4, there are special considerations you should take.
3.x items that are not compatible with 4.0
Third party hooks
Third party applications
All base data, including: members, forums, topics, posts, etc. will remain intact and upgrade to IPS 4
Please ensure that you have a full backup of your database and file system your community prior to upgrading.
Requirements for IPS4
You may wish to use our requirements checker to be sure your server supports our software before proceeding.
IPS4 requires UTF8 when upgrading, if your current database is not UTF8, during the first steps of the upgrade process, you will be prompted to run a UTF8 conversion, this is all built into the upgrader and works very well. Once this step is completed, you will be taken back to the upgrade routine.
Checking URL's and storage paths prior to upgrading
It's important to check your urls and upload paths in your admincp on 3.x prior to upgrading, for example if you have more than one url parked on your hosting configuration, the upload paths and urls should only match your current url of the site.
User / Display Names
Usernames and display names have been merged in IPS4. As the administrator, you may select which to keep during the upgrade process. Please note that this field will be the publicly displayed field for the user.
Friends / Followers
Instead of friends, IPS4 features followers. A member now has the ability to follow another member without that being automatically reciprocal. You have the option of converting friends to followers.
Question and Answer Forums
Previous versions of the software allowed enabling of "Mark as Solved" on a per-forum basis. IPS4 enhances this functionality by allowing members to ask questions and rate their answers.
When upgrading to IPS4, the validating group is merged into the members group with a "Validating Flag" these users will be prompted to validate their account or continue as a guest on the forum until they do so, using the guest group permission set.
IP.content > Pages
Upgrading ip.content to pages will upgrade your ip.content database, and content to the new Pages Application, however all blocks and templates will need to be re-created in IPS4 after the upgrade.
Moderator CP - Deleted Content
If you have any items in the deleted content before upgrading, these items will be removed on upgrading to IPS4, so in some cases you may have this set to a long period before it's actually deleted, if so, and you need these items, restore them before upgrading. This is not common and in IPS4 when you delete an item, it's deleted instantly, so there is no "removed content" section in the modcp anymore.
Once you have downloaded your software, you will need to get your software uploaded to your server. The following is a basic guide on how to unpack and upload these to your server. Please note that some items here will need to be changed based on your particular server settings.
Unpacking your files
When you first download, you will need see a file similar to the below image, which you will need to unzip using a tool for unzipping software. Most operating systems will have a tool for this built in.
Once unpacked you will have a folder named ips_xxxxx (where xxxxx can change). This folder contains the files you need to install the IPS Community Suite.
It is important to note that when you upload to your web server, you are not uploading the folder itself. You are instead uploading the contents of that folder. To illustrate this, I have highlighted what I will be uploading in this guide below.
Uploading to your server
You will need to upload these files to your server via FTP. If you are unsure on how to FTP to your server, you will need to contact your hosting company for instructions on how to do this. For the purpose of this guide, I am using the popular FTP client filezilla. Please adjust what you do according to your own client.
Once you have your ftp client open and you have connected to your server, you will need to determine where you are uploading to. This would be the location in which you have your IP.Board currently installed
It is important that you ensure whilst you are uploading, you are overwriting any files and folders of the same name. This will not lose any of your data as this is stored within the database. You should not however delete any files before uploading. Only overwrite any which already exist.
Once we have the location and have connected, we would then upload the files to the web server, overwriting any files which already exist on the server at present as shown in the example below.
This guide will show you through the steps on upgrading your software using the upgrade utility. If you have not yet downloaded the new version of the software and uploaded this to your site, please see the previous guides in the menu on your left.
If you have got to this stage, then you have everything you need for upgrade of your software. Next you will need to visit the upgrader itself. You can get to this from the browser location corresponding to where your admin cp was located on your IP.Board installation + '/upgrade'. In this example my admin cp was at http://localhost/demo/admin . This being my location for the sites admin cp, I would now go to the upgrade path /upgrade/ , which is in this case would be the following
Once we have visited that location in our browser, and logged in using your admin credentials, you will see the following screen. If you do not see "Upgrade IPS Community Suite 4" at the top, and see anything regarding IP.Board, then you have not uploaded your files to the correct location and would need to check this.
Once you you click on Start Upgrade, you will be taken to the requirement check screen. If you followed the previous guides, everything should be showing as ok in here. If you get any messages in here such as folder permission errors, you would need to resolve these at this point before you continue.
The next page will show which items you are upgrading. All items you have purchased will be within this list, however if there are any you do not wish to upgrade at this time, you can deselect them at this point. On most occasions you would leave these ticked as they are by default, unless there is a specific reason why you are not upgrading an item.
After clicking on continue, unless you have already converted your database to UTF8, or your site is already using UTF8, you may be presented with a screen informing you that the database needs to be converted, as seen below. If you do not see this, then don't worry, it will simply mean that your database is already using the required UTF8 format.
If you are presented with this screen, you will be presented with the option to convert to either UTF8 or 4-byte UTF8. Whilst the technical details of these are beyond the scope of this guide, your choice is whether you want to allow emojis, music symbols, or historical scripts to be used on your site. If you do, then you would need to chose the 4-byte UTF8 (uft8mb4) option in order to have these available to you. This will result in a slightly larger database size, but would be the choice you would use in most cases.
Choose your required option and click continue to the conversion routine.
As of version 4.1.12, you can convert your database to the utf8mb4 format once you have upgraded, even if you chose not to do so at the time of upgrade originally. This can be found on the right of the page within system>support>support once on IPS4
If your database is of a significant size, and you have the ability to do this, you may want to run the uft8 conversion utility from command line. You will see the relevant details for this on the page shown above. Once you have done this from command line, you would revisit the upgrader again to continue with your upgrade routine.
As the IPS4 system is slightly different in the way it works to IP.Board, you will then be given a series of options which you will need to chose from for your upgrade. If you have been through earlier steps in this guide, you should have the answers already prepared for these. Please ensure you read through this page and choose the options which are correct for your own site.
Your site will now run through the upgrade procedure automatically. You may at some points be asked to run queries manually via phpmyadmin or similar. This may happen if some database tables are of a large size.
Once your installation is complete, the system will let you know, and you can chose whether to visit your admin CP or your main site. Please see our many other guides for assistance on using the suite, and welcome to IPS. At this point, you may want to visit the admin CP to confirm that your rebuild routines are running. Continue to the next step in this guide for more information on the rebuild process.
If for some reason the upgrade times out or stalls, you can log back into the upgrade here /admin/upgrade and select "continue upgrade" to complete the upgrade process.
On first logging into your admin CP after an upgrade, you may see that you have background tasks running on your site. If you have upgraded from 3.4 or below, this will certainly be the case. The background tasks are doing various things on your site such as rebuilding content for the IPS4 system, building a search index, counting content and many more important task which need to be completed in order for your site to run and be displayed correctly.
Below you will see an example of what this may look like on first log in, after an upgrade from the 3.4 system
It is important to note, that after an upgrade from 3.4, especially on a larger site, this will take some time to run through. In most cases you will be able to leave this to complete itself.
Tasks run alongside activity on your site, therefore it is also important that you are aware that if you have little activity on your site, these will run threw very slowly. In this instance you have a few options you can consider to run them through more quickly.
At the bottom of the processing list, you will see a link to manual run the background tasks. Clicking this will mean that you are opting to set these off running manually on a refreshing page in your browser. This would usually then be left open, perhaps in another tab on your browser, until it is complete. This can be one of the quickest ways of getting the tasks to run through in the fastest time.
Cron and Web Service
2 Other settings you can use are Cron Jobs, and Web Service to run these. To switch to any of these, you can visit the following area within your admin CP.
System -> Settings -> Advanced Configuration
From here you will see you can switch the way in which the tasks are run on your system from "Run Automatically" to one of the 2 other types on the system.
If you can run a cron job from your server setup, you can do this by adding in the string provided when you select "Use cron". This is the recommended way in which to run tasks on your system if you have the ability to set this up. If you are unsure on this, you should contact your hosting company and ask if they can set this up for you.
To use web service, you would need something that calls the web service string, provided when you select this option. Within the description, you will see a link for EasyCron, which is an external provider that provides these services. This is ideal if you do not have the ability to set up a cron job on your system.
Things to note about background tasks and the tasks in general
It will take some time for the background tasks to run. On large sites this time can be considerable. Until these are complete, some items such as BBCode, may not yet have been processed, and so your content would not be displaying correctly
Tasks run all the time for other items too, so if you set up web service or cron, ensure you do not simply switch these off once the background tasks are completed. These are required for your system to function correctly.
You can switch your site online whilst these are running. This will not do your site any harm. As already mentioned, they can take some time so this may be preferable to some people. Just be aware of point 1.
One of the many questions we are asked here at IPS, is how you do a clean installation of the IPS4 software. This is generally so that people can remove the IP.Board 3 files and be left with only the IPS4 files. Whilst you cannot simply install IPS4 and import in the IP.Board data, you can clear up the folders after you have done the upgrade.
The instructions below should be carried out prior to the installation of any 3rd party items and after the initial background tasks are completed, and should always be done after a full backup of your software. Note that we cannot account for any data in which is stored by a 3rd party item from 3.4. If you are unsure, then you should contact the developer of that application.
Also note, this is based on a default installation, which has had no changes to paths. If for example you are storing your gallery images elsewhere, then you would need to ensure you take this into account.
In order to clear up the directory, first of all take a backup of your files and folders. Once you have done, remove ALL files and folders with the exception of the below.
Uploads folder (including contents)
downloads/screenshots (will only be present if you have downloads)
Any constants.php file that may be present (note, you may not have one of these)
Once you have removed these, download a fresh copy of the IPS4 software, and reupload this to your site.